The US Government Printing Office (GPO) keeps America informed in print and online. The GPO is the Federal government's primary centralized resource for gathering, cataloging, producing, providing, and preserving published information in all its forms. Part of the legislative branch, the GPO offers Congress, the courts, and other government agencies centralized services to enable them to easily produce printed documents according to uniform Federal specifications. The GPO also offers the publications for sale to the public and makes them available at no cost through the Federal Depository Library Program. The GPO is run like a business and requires payment from its government customers for services rendered.
The GPO also provides free electronic access to official government information through its Federal Digital System.
Other duties of the GPO include the production of passports -- 13 million in 2011 -- for the US Department of State and the Trusted Traveler Program card for faster processing of low-risk travelers by the US Department of Homeland Security's Customs and Border Protection.
Year-over-year fiscal 2011 revenue was down 11%. By segment, revenue from printing and binding decreased about 12%, publication sales declined 13%, agency distribution revenue for the storage, packaging, and distribution of publications was down 1%, and appropriations fell 9%.
After revenue-related measures that included an employee buyout plan with a goal of reducing 330 positions and collections of more than $12 million in outstanding payments, the GPO recorded a net income of more than $5 million in 2011, down from $9 million the year before. To more generally compensate for the decline of the print format, GPO is becoming more cost-efficient with adaptations in print technology that include such digital methods as e-book releases.
In 2011 the GPO launched its first mobile Web application (a digital guide to the members of the 112th Congress) and its own Facebook page.